Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development, 5th Edition
The National Education for Assistance Dog Services ( NEADS) functions with teams of people. But another type of teamwork is also central to the mission of NEADS: the team of human and dog. NEADS acquires, raises, trains, and matches service dogs to meet the needs of people with limited physical mobility or deafness. It takes about two years to train a service dog— and that requires a lot of teamwork. Volunteer families become part of the team when, at four months of age, the puppies are placed in foster care. These families agree to feed, love, and raise the puppies so they become accustomed to the distractions and energy of the real world. Professional dog trainers from NEADS visit regularly to work with the families and dogs to ensure that the dogs receive the proper training in preparation for their later work. The puppies live in their foster homes until they are about a year and a half old; then they return to the NEADS farm to continue their education. Here, they receive advanced training from professional dog trainers. When a dog’s training is complete, its new owner arrives on campus for a two- week stay, during which the person and the dog become a team. The person and dog have been matched through an extensive interview process that involves a team of people interviewers and dog trainers.
1. Describe the characteristics of a typical NEADS team, using the information discussed in the chapter.
2. What factors determine the cohesiveness of NEADS teams?